Wednesday, November 30

TACO PIZZA!!!!

what happens when taco tuesday meets a pizza-every-day mindset?
i needed to know.
and that was the sentiment i was summoning
when i started tossing the dough for my dinner, duders.
mmhmm.
i love mexican food, or my approximation of it, anyway.
and i realllly love pizza.
like, the most.
so,
the natural progression, after the success of my supernachos last week,
was to combine more of the things i love into new things.
sorta like the way babies are made-
but, of course,
without any real chance of intercourse.
anyway,
taco pizza is what i wanted,
and taco pizza is what i made.
check the andale'-type teleport:

kaBOOMFUEGO for your b-hole, bro!!!!
the crust is preposterously expert.
i'm serious.
-
2 cups of flour
1 1/4 cups of semolina
1 cup white-on white sourdough starter
1 T rapid-rising yeast
1 T salt
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
-
kneaded up,
and punched down twice in the first two hours,
then allowed a second bulk for about 6 solid coldish hours in a row,
before beng refrigerated for an even colder proof,
and then divided, folded, and plastic-bagged in 4 servings of crucial doughy dopeness.
mmmhmmm.
i don't even remember what day i did that on.
i just know it was last week.
i doo-doo that preparatory sh!t,
because pizza sometimes has to be a battlefield decision at just a moment's notice.
word up.
-
this particular pizza has a lot going on.
and that's good news,
because too much is the right amount.
 i went into it knowing i was going to do myself a digestive mischief,
and honestly, i regret not one bit of it.
refried beans form the base.
that's extra-oniony, GPOP'd, nootch-boosted, ho'sauvy custom pinto magic,
spread thick on the bottom,
and then,
there's daiya mozzarella shreds;
and then,
black beans;
and then, hand-cut daiya cheddar strips;
and then,
vegan roast, repurposed into a carnita asada explosion-
oregano, olive oil, smoked paprika, GPOP, cumin,
garlic, onions, and black pepper, with cayenne and fire-roasted tomato flakes,
seared and sizzled and stacked on top of those beans and chee'.....
and then,
the whole mess got covered in a smooth, well-simmered salsa picante!!;
and then,
cashew-garlic-tapioca & nootch queso sauce, blopped heavy on there;
with quartered grape tomatoes;
and pickled jalapenos;
and diced sweet onion.
damn, neighbors,
it felt good to pig out like a boss hog for the afternoon.
mmhmmm.
after baking it on a hot stone at 475F for almost 20 minutes,
for that slow-cooked thick-cut deep-heat dopeness,
i took it out, all double-bubblin' hot and chee'y;
and that's when i activated the upper-limits of flavor to their fullest-
scallion and cilantro sprankles!
tiny sweet red pepper ringlets,
and avo-F*ing-cado slices!!!
WOW!
on the really real-
this pizza took my whole notion of delicious up another 'nother notch.
it weighed a ton, and now i do too.
uh-huh.
i couldn't stop eating it.
i was full, i was satisfied, and i was relatively impressed with myself-
but rules is rules,
so i kept at it until i was fattishly destroyed, and totally uncomfortable.
heck yeah!
you know i HAD to.
i mean,
really, what was i gonna do?
save some for later?
no way.
i need all the pizza, all the time,
and that's exxxactly what i got.
***********
thirty days of not-alright.
a month of miserable messy mush and mulch,
moping and making-do with doo-doo buttery doings.
what's that all about?
it's about the same sh!t, every year,
at the same dang time-
NOvember can go F* itself.
that is all;
never quiet, never soft.....

GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!

TWO COOKIE RECIPES ARE HERE!
...so don't be discouraged by all the words before we get there....
-
good riddance to bad rubbish, neighbors-
that's what today is.
yup.
by midnight,
NO-thank-you-vember will finally be finished,
and not a moment too soon.
it's my least favorite one-
so much so that i'm generally suspicious of scorpios as a side-effect.
...and guys,
i'm no astrologist,
save for knowing that my sign has got to be the worst one,
(sidebar:
largely i value free will over the aligned braille of ironically bright lights,
and the cosmic staccato sotto voce of morse coded manifestos
writing volumes of destiny in dead silent space,
all of which may determine the destiny of everybody,
specifically because of when they were born,
as in o'clock/day/month/year.
if that WERE true,
and there's a fatalist foretelling for my future as a frantic, forlorn factotum, forever?
damn,
then i guess i HAVE to do this,
and i'm supposed to feel like this,
and it's all really happening because nothing else could..
that's how that works.
F*ing gross)
OR,
i could just hate the sh!t out of the month of NO-way-jose-vember.
which i do.
...---...
the food, though.
like, the whole damned month of NO-me-gusta-vember,
all around the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
there's been some kind of super-turbo-elite culinary specters haunting my head
and guiding my hands.
i mean, really.
despite my disdain and despair over every other aspect
of the whole awful month of NO'body-loves-you-vember,
there's still some expert hottness permeating this kitchen...
...welling up from the ley lines that intersect along the peaks and valleys
of this mountainous forest realm;
beaming down from those interstellar editorial edicts in the sky;
creeping in from the foggy veil between awake and asleep
as every day dwindles into deeper, darker, colder,
and grimmer chapters of this grisly grimoire of secret universal plans.
i dunno if that's provably possible,
but whatever it is that's charged and enlarged this woodsly flippin' goodness
with gray, rainy, restless ruination and rough nights has also activated some
very tasty and super-delicious good ideas for baking and making in the hours
before anyone else wakes up.
i do my dirt all by my lonely, homies.
if you were an early riser and you somehow also got an invite,
and you were inclined to sleep over,
i bet you'd still snore away in while i got busy with my business before dawn.
anyway,
that busy business has been good to me.
and i wanna show you something-
check the cocoa-coconut-type teleport:

GLITTERY SUGAR MAGIC FOR YOUR FACE!!!
chocolate coconut chocolate chip tahini cookies!
mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
make 'em for yourself,
like this-
**********
1 stick butterish
1 cup raw sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
^creamed^
plus-
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup cocoa
^stirred in thoroughly^
and added to-
2 cups a.p. flour
2 tsp baking kapowder
1/2 cup freshly-crushed unsweetened flake coconut
1 pkg mini dark chocolate chips
golf-ball sized blops, rolled out, pressed flattish,
and dropped in big shin, crystal decorative sexxxy sugar sprankles,
and baked for 13 minutes at 375F.
BOOM.
if you can't hang out with these, you're an A*-hole.
real talk.
*
also,
a little minute ago,
i also made some gingerbread-style graham cookies for the kids.
have a look:

sandwiches!
i'll admit,
the amateurish icing gave me a headache,
but they taste,m and the texture were freakin' awesome.
go ahead and make these, too:
***********
1 stick of melted butts
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
^squished together until smooth^
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup graham flour
1 cup all-purpz (a.p.) flour
1 tsp bakey kapowder
1 tsp bakey soda
1 tsp vanilla
3 crushed graham crax
pinch of cloves
1 1/2 tsp ginger
-
^ mix it up^
and then chill it out for about an hour-
at the post-60 min. mark, roll the dough on a floured surface,
and cut out some shapes, buddy.
...an even number helps, if you're gonna stack 'em, y'feel me?
baked for 11 minutes at 380F.
and left to cool completely on arack, jack.
that's important.
especially when you consider that warm cookies ruin frosting.
which, speaking of-
i used maple-cider frosting in the middles.
that's butterish to powdered sugar at a ratio of 1:4?
4 T butts gets almost 2 cups of sugar-
plus a splish-spalsh of vanilla,
a tsp of maple syrup
and a steady drip of cider until the mixture is whisked into a fluffy explosion
of autumnal delights.
word.
-
that brings us to the icing.
it was just sugar, vanilla, and soymilk.
but, apparently, it was just one drop too much wet.
it slid off the uneven surfaces,
and added just a touch more au naturel rustic imperfection than i'd have preferred.
the taste was affected not at all,
but i like my treats a little prettier these days.
the pink glitter sprankles helped.
so i guess there's that.
***********
two kinds of cookies for you, right here.
i hope you like 'em.
i hope you make 'em.
so far., i haven't heard one review of anything i've given a recipe for.
am i surprised?
not really.
if you're anything like me,
(and i highly doubt that's the case)
you're off creating your own sh!t.
regardless, the information is here.
and in a very short time form now?
NO-more-vember will be a thing of the past.
i'm grateful for the muse of food in the humorless mess of a month.
i doubt it would've been nearly as tolerable without the treats;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, November 29

DUMP DAY!!!!!

hey, neighbors,
sometimes, when you're in the heat of the moment,
in the heart of the house,
handling that b!tchin' kitchenly cookware,
you forget to rotate your stock!
no?
well,
sometimes i do, anyway.
...and that can leave you with odds and ends that beg to be used up,
instead of opening another 'nother 'nother other one, again.
y'feel me?
like,
i found two partial tofu blocks in the refrigerator.
two!
that's a bush-league laughable move, man.
first of all, who the eff doesn't tune-up a whole brick every time?
and then, to go right on ahead and do that same sh!t again?
i mean, once is bad, but again?
partial tofu consumption makes me feel inadequate.
for real-
too much is the right amount.
and instead of following the rules,
i've been over here responsibly portioning?
ew.
c'mon, dude, i should know better.
how did i amend this logistical error?
with DUMPS!!!
yuuuuuuup.
and kung pao tofu, too!!
that's right, it's soybean overload,
and i want you too know all about it...
check the teleport:

PAOWER!!!!!
i wasn't even going to make dinner,
but i got home a bit early,
and i had a heaping piece-of-sh!t pizza for lunch,
so i needed a win in the supper segment of the night.
enter the tofu.
the big brick was cubed into 1/4 inch squares,
and sauteed in sesame oil with finely-diced onion and carrot,
with big slab garlic slices added after a little minute.
the sauce is what made it right, though, homies-
*
2 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 T sriracha
GPOP
black pepper
ground mustard
red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 T cornstarch
5 T warm water
*
stirred and slurried, and poured over a batch of red chilis,
sweet baby bell peppers, peanuts, and celery, all right-angled and righteous,
with the added zing of cilantro and scallion after a minute.
the sauce gets thick, the heat gets lowered, and the pao-pao is paowerful.
easy.
-
and then,
there's those DUMPS ON YOUR FACE, ACE!
i covered dumplings in detail here.
check it out.
this time,
in addition to tofu, i also used garlic, onion, and kale,.
with GPOP, sesame seeds, and ginger,
with a dash of cayenne to activate some exxxtra-hottness
i like dumplings.
a lot.
and whenever i have 'em, i have a lot of 'em.
rules is rules,
and that's one i don't overlook.
***********
in real life,
away from the skillets,
and absent the photography,
and disregarding all the overeating,
everything else is total bullsh!t.
crabtree's injury is still a source of infected angst,
and of inflamed irritation to the both of us.
my car?
remember that?
i crashed it over a month ago?
yeah.
still not ready.
that's pretty cool.
and the insurance coverage of a rental is over and done with today-
in the bigger picture,
that's really a minor inconvenience,
only,
it's heaped atop a month of rainy days off;
long bitter cold dog walks;
almost-always-all-aloneliness;
terrible appointments dominating each day's doings at work;
and no sleep at all since thanksgiving.
the all-encompassing mosaic is a frowning face,
composed entirely of jagged bits and bobs,
ragged and rough-hewn, sharp and sour,
and probably full of tetanus-
...at least i got that shot at the hospital,
so,
sorry, but there won't be any lockjaw, at least.
ugh.
y'wanna know why i always write about food?
because food produces reliable, uplifting, positive results
for realsies,
if it looks good, and it tastes good?
it IS good.
and guys,
on the ones,
good is good,
but bad is everything else.
everything else is everywhere else,
and all of it is really happening.
NOvember is on borrowed time, but holy crap,
it blew by in a grey blur of always-the-sameness.
and now,
this is it.
the last leg of a one-legged A*-kickin' contest.
i don't think that's how it is supposed to work;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, November 28

BREKKIE

pumpkin oatmeal coconut pancakes!
that sound good to you?
yeah.
me too.
as a matter of fact,
i pretty much want that every day,
but,
holy sh!t would i become an enormously gelatinous mass
of mush-middled man-pig if i were to regularly indulge in that sort of decadence.
i do like 'em, though,
and we did have 'em, too.
...and when we're already readily gettin' busy with some burly panniecakes,
we gotta go whole-hog full-bore flat-out supermegalodonsharkgluttonous,
and make sure we're munching up on those fully-complemented
BIG breakfast jauns.
...word up.
i'm sayin'-
me and my kids, we like a thorough brekkie fry-up,
and we're not afraid to get involved in some in-depth charged nourishment.
don't believe it?
okay.
then check the big-big-type teleport:
RIGHT??
dudes,
apple-somethin'-somethin' weirdie storebought soysages notwithstanding,
this was a custom good morning magic explosion from
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory,
live and direct straight to the future.
mmmmm.
cinnamon and nutmeg and allspice,
coconut sugar,
crushed coconut flake flour,
the works.
that's what's up with that panniebatter, broski-mo.
y'wanna make some?
ok.
do it like this-
***********
pumplestiltskin panniecakes:
1 cup a.p. flour;
1/3 cup ground coconut flakes (unsweetened);
^NOT coconut flour, that's a different consistency, man. c'mon)
1/3 cup freshly ground thick old fashioned rolled oat flou;
GET A SPICE GRINDER, AND MAKE THIS SH!T YOURSELF.
IT MATTERS MORE THAN YOUR MOUTH CAN CURRENTLY COMPREHEND.
...but it will, once you doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
4 T coconut sugar;
2 tsp baking kapowder;
1/2 tsp salt'
1 cup non-dairy milk ( i used french vanilla silk creamer i.d.g.a.f.);
1/2 cup pumpkin;
1/4 cup vegan sour creme;
1 tsp vanilla;
3-4 T melted butterish;
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger to taste.
whisk it up, get it gloppy, and let it rest for like, an hour.
oh yeah-
and then, when it's settled,
you'll prob'ly have to hit it with some more 'milk.
that's okay.
if you leave it too thick, and it stays dense, you get bombs,
not cakes of sunfeathery freshness and light airy fluff.
just thin it out enough to drop from a ladle easily,
and after that, cook 'em up.
-if you don't know how to cook pancakes,
you're beyond my ability to assist,
and what's more, i don't love you, and i probably wont ever, either.
- i freaked mine off with real maple syrup, kapowdered sugar,
and second-chance cranberry compote.
damn, that was a good idea, too.
100% expert panniemancakes made my day.
*
yeah.
so,
we also had tofu scramborghini.
you know i like me a good scrambo, neighbors.
that's no joke.
turmeric, GPOP, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and nootch.
it's so simple, sizzling in olive oil,
but it gets me every time.
yum4tum.
lately,
i've been all about activating it with fried tomatoes.
i use the small sweet ones, because i like cute things.
what?
i'm allowed.
it adds a whole new realm of desirable dopeness to the dish,
and i think we all deserve a little more desirable dopeness, don't you?
heck yes we do.
believe that.
*
skin-on rustic new red potato homeboyfries are the boomfire lava
that leaves us all wanting so much more of it.
huh?
oh, yes, i'm so for real right now.
potatoes are the TRUTH.
get with it, or get outta here.
rules is rules.
oven roasted at 350F forever,
until they lightly Garlic Powdered and Onion Powdered,
salted, peppered, and olive-oiled outsides are golden crispy hottness embodied,
and tossed into a butterishly blistering skillet, with chopped onion,
and paprika, and smoked paprika, and hot paprika, and ho'sauce,
until they got that good-good crispy crawnchiness, kid.
i'm not sayin' you should start it out on medium heat.
no way.
i go high heat always, from the first to the last,
but you'd better be on yo' sh!t, son.
or else all you'll have is burnt bits of b!tchbaggery.
ho'sauce likes to turn blacker than black quicker than quick.
i'm tellin' you to pay attention.
that's all.
scallion sprankles give 'em a little coolwater sharp slap of exxxtra.
and that's always good.
***********
28 days later,
and NOvember has been a real F*ing A*hole.
historically my least favorite month, by far,
and this time around is only serving to solidify that ranking
as least among the calendar's pages forever and ever.
it has been lonelier,
and more demanding,
and a good deal bloodier than most.
yep.
crabtree is hurting, and draining lymph all over the house.
his ugly wound is abscessed,
and i'm obsessed with treating it.
both with antibiotics and warm compresses, which seem to help.
the painkillers make him especially battle-beastly, too.
ugh.
it's been a brutal weekend of canine complications,
and i'm well aware of how worse for wear my attenuated nerves
and impossibly saggy baggy eyes have been as a consequence.
so,
i'd like to take a little moment just to say,
if i ever see that other dirty used budget dog ever again,
it's life will be compressed into mere miserable minutes,
and real talk-
lifelong vegan or not, his future is forfeit.
i'm ride or die for my only friend in this forest realm;
when he's hurting i'm hurting,
whoever did the hurting has it coming as far as i'm concerned.
and i pay my debts in full.
daaaaaaamn.
infinite nature applies to everything.
dogs being dogs,
rule being rules,
and vengeful lightning-striking vikings doing what they do, too
that's a hard style, huh?
well, there it is.
it's documented, i meant it,
and it's all really happening, which just so happens to be the whole point.
what's more-
my mouth is still a shredded bed of scar tissue,
almost as if i'd done some heavy makeout sessioning with a mako shark,
and my hands are torn in ways only a savage thanksgiving could accomplish,
seriously,
grating shredding chopping mincing dicing and crushing kept my mitts
in a mass of massacred mayhem that gloved-up safe-tattoo-practices have perpetuated.
ouch.
plus,
my two smallish human accomplices are back safe and sound in their hometown,
miles and hours away from the woodlsy goodness.
we're home alone, me and my vangogh'd little viceroy.
there's very few numbers on the thermometer.
barely double digits, in fact,
but we've got miles to manage before i leave for work,
hurt or not,
healing or harming,
there's work to be done.
we've got a job to do, and this it-
walking uphill, but always headed downhill;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, November 27

PUMP UP!

we had pumpkin pie on thanksgiving.
yep.
we did.
harvest insisted, and she's very bossy.
to be fair,
i do enjoy a modified conventional tradition turned vegan,
and made 100% more expert.
i mean,
who wouldn't want to turn it up to eleven,
and take a slice of super-elite smooth pumplestiltskin sorcery to the dome?
only an A*-hole, that's who.
and we're not tryna live that bullsh!t in the Folk, Life & Liberty Fortress.
not even for a second.
so, we made ourselves some pump up,
and we loved it, and we think that you will, too.
check the belated-bleating-bebop-type teleport:
WOOOOHOOOOO!!!
we get down and dirty with the pie times around these parts.
that's real.
and this dirty bird was no exception.
smooth as baby butts;
spicy like white girl coffees;
crusty like gutter punx;
this jammie-jam is the TRUTH.
how do you get your hands on one?
well,
you make it.
and to do that, you do this-
***********
ovenly heat should be 350F
-
crust:
2 pkgs graham crax, crushed,
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 T melted butts
1 tsp vanilla
non-dairy milk, added by the tsp,
until the mix is malleable, and holds it's shape.
form it, bake it for 11 minutes, and let it cool a bit.
how easy is that?
yeah. i know.
-
fillin':
12 oz 'umpkin puree
1/2 cup kapowdered sugs
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, mace, and cloves
pinch of salt
1/4 cup tapioca (optional- i personally prefer my pump up firmer)
1 T flour
1 T ground golden flaxmeal
1 1/2 pkg tofutti creamchee'
splash of maple syrup
food process or blend that until smooth as heck,
and pour it into the crust. logical, huh?
 mmhmm.
bake it for thirty-forty minutes,
until it only barely jiggles when you shake it.
-
^ that's enough hottness for anybody^
but,
that's not enough hottness for us.
which is why we hit it up with that maple-cider frosting halo,
and those flaky cinnamon-spiked pastry acorn accents.
i'm just sayin',
when it's time to get wordimus prime, neighbors,
we really make it do some stunts and feats of flavortown boomfire.
the frosting is simple as heck:
in a stand mixer (if you're treally real)
or bowl and whisk (electric i hope, for your sake)
combine 4 T butts
1 1/2 cup pow-pow-powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
a splash of maple syrup
and cider, drizz'd in there until it's fluffy as F*.
boom.
you've got magic at your fingertips, kids.
i believe in you.
***********
my kids go back today.
yep.
back home,
to the comfortable confines of the not-so-great-state of connecticut.
there's thanksgiving thursday,
black friday,
small-business-saturday,
and even a cybermonday.
the stuck in there is the one day they haven't named yet.
seriously-
the sh!t-salad sunday where everybody sits in traffic
on their way back to where they were last wednesday-
and i'm about to be all up in that mess for miles and miles, as i drive the day away,
in between a serious case of crabtree caregiving.
that b!tch-A* brindle mongrel muthaF*er really got him good.
wha'?
oh, he got bit behind his ear, remember?
no?
well, he did.
by a budget beast, and all for his overexuberant superfriendliness.
he hasn't learned that optimism is a recipe for punishment yet,
but he's still young. he'll get it, eventually.
anyway,
7x cleaner than my mouth or not,
that sh!thole's salivary scum infected the puncture,
which swelled to the size of a softball,
and my happy little battle-bullet looks more like the elephant man than a terrier.
and what's worse (and a little better)
is that he has been listless and uncomfortable since.
so, now he's got himself some antibiotics,
and a lacerated/shaved/awful-looking
incident-area event-horizon, rife with redness and swelling,
and a regimen of painkillers that have my sweet boy all drug-addled and dopey.
awwwwwwwwwww.
and after all THAT,
i'm gonna be driving roundtrip back and forth
to and from the unrivaled F*ery of massholechusetts,
instead of being home with him, or even being nearby,
tattzapping aboard that blasted and ballasted bilge-pump of a bummer-barge.
ha.
...and the kids wont be here for a whole other 'nother 'nother month,
and i'm empty-nesting extra hard.
dudes,
i miss them already, and they're still asleep upstairs.
i can't say it enough-
i'm grateful for the time we get together,
and while it's nowhere near as much as i'd like,
i think we really concentrate all our focus attention, and intentions
on making the maxxximum magic in the minimum minutes.
we gotta.
anything else would be a slap in the mouth to the worthy warrior poetry
and active participation that compose our savage stormswept symphony
of fresh and flavorful family togetherness.
it's all really happening.
that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, November 26

NACHOOOOOOS!!

leftovers?
no.
i don't F* with those, really.
however,
i may occasionally be persuaded to repurpose
some previously appreciated delciousness into a whole 'nother
new piece of super hottness for dinnertime family enjoyment.
and that's for real.
for instance,
my heroic vegan roast?
i took a few slabs off of that, added oregano, smoked paprika,
lots of olive oil, soy sauce, GPOP, basil, coriander, and black pepper,
and asadafied that sh!t into a whole new realm of ethnicity.
word up,
why?
because vegan roast on it's own wasn't gonna work in our quick and dirty
family-style plate of big burly corn tortilla chip activation.
uh-huh.
that's right, my friends.
we had to tune up a whole panful of custom expert vegan nachos deluxxxe.
check the teleport:
OLE', OLE' OLE'-OLEEEEEEEEE'!
ha.
neighbors,
we love the nachos, we get mucho lucha libre on the nachos,
we chancho out like little piggies on the chips and dips
and we doo-doo all that as hard and as fast as we can.
real talk.
-a lotta melty-A* daiya chee' is essential.
-a little nootchy GPOP goo-wop glop don't hurt it, either.
(that's 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/4 cup water or non-dairy milk,
2 T GPOP [1 of each] black pepper, and a splash of soy sauce,
heated until thickish and drizz'd on the chips)
-refried beans, with that exxtra-buttery sweet-onion and nootch-boosted goodness?
they make the glue that bonds the chips into bigger big bites.
that's dope.
-black beans! because black beans matter-
lightly seasoned with sriracha and garlic salt,
sauteed with onions, and removed from the pan just before they burst,
so they can save some pop for the oven, my loves.
nachos are F*ing rad, man.
i just wanna insert that sentiment for you to appreciate.
-the roast asada, because that's how we got started here in the first place;
-black olives, because like beans, they matter, too;
fire-roasted green chilis, to give it that oily smoothness, the mild spice,
the slippery slap of peppery taste that goes easy on the tongue,
and slides down so smoothly in every bite;
mmmm.
-scallion sprankles. for serious, bro-
rules is rules,
and spranks are what's up;
-quartrered sweet oblong baby grape tomatoes,
low in juice, heavy on fleshy tomato thickness, huge on taste;
-hot salsa drizzles make it work like it has an important job to do;
-and cilantro leaf sexxxiness ties the whole thing up in a neat green package.
too much is the right amount,
and more stuff means more nacho goodness for a more awesome experience.
that's how we like it around these parts.
we baked that big baby up in the oven, at around 380F
on the convection air-circulation circuit,
turning it twice to make it especially nicey-nice,
for something dumb,
like, more than 15 minutes i think.
but,
damn if we didn't terrorize that whole thing in less time than it took to make.
we prepare for a huge explosive savage shark-gluttonous feeding frenzy.
it's like dominoes, all that set-up,
to watch it drop quickly,
and then watch that set off an avalanche.
we don't just do it to it, dudes.
we overdo it.
that's our style.
so,
how do you do your nachos?
i hope you're ready to get at least that filthy with it.
if it isn't ridiculous, it isn't right.
and we all wanna get right, right?
right;
never quiet, never soft.....

APPLE SPIRALS!!!!

we get fresh with our fancy pies up here in the woodsly goodness.
and you've known that for some time now.
the thing of it is-
we really like this new hottness, with the cinnamon swirls,
that takes the average everyday apple jaun way off the charts,
past that previous level eleven new-new,
and into mysterious waters on the horizons of flavor.
mmmhmmm.
check the thanksgiving-pie-type teleport:
word the F* up, neighbors-
how about them APPLES?!!?!!
flaky pastry is a must.
always.
and i get molto busy with that all the dang time.
butterish and creamchee and flour, a little sugar and vanilla to sex it up,
and just enough non-dairy milk to hold it together.
i know, i know;
we've been over this many times this month....
but, NO(thankyou)vember is a pie month.
that's a thing,
and rules is rules, a
and flaky pie crust is a must.
like i said 2x already.
the apples?
eight of those delicious local varietals,
unnamed, but exxxtra-expert.
peeled, cored, chunked, and simmered in cider and syrup,
with cinnamon and nutmeg, a splash of lemon, 
and a big ol' handful of brown sugar,
along with a punch of oats to soak up any overage of juice.
that's another 'nother must-do when you're dealing with pie for your eye.
uh-huh.
don't let it turn to mush, and don't let your filling eff up that crust.
jeez.
either you're about that pie life, or you're not.
i doubt it can be taught. 
no. really, it's innate, like instinct.
ha.
c'mon.
maybe you;re not a natural at pie-ing. 
hey, that's cool.
the world needs ditch diggers, duder.
awwwwwww.
actually,
the world needs better pies.
i think that's definitely a thing.
half of the pastry dough was cut up, and set aside,
for various additions-
like, 1/3 was used for maple to braid 
and another small scrap was for maple leaf accents in tribute to the kid's effort.
the rest was sliced into a rectangle,
coated in buttery cinnamon sugar, rolled, frozen, and sliced,
for those elite sweet swirled whorls of wild wonderful upgrade majesty.
heck yeah!!
i bake all my pies at 400+ fahrenheit degrees, for at least 20 minutes, 
or until the crust is golden, and the fruit is bubblin'.
damn, friends.
i do so love a good pie.
as this is really an amalgam of other techniques and approaches,
a masterpiece mashup of previous technological advances in my pie artistry,
i'll let you go back and seek out all the other info as it happened, 
throughout the archives of the last three months, if you;re so inclined.
if not,
i'll bet you'll still be able to frankenstein your own version anyway.
haha.
***********
we don't get enough time together.
i mean, harvest and maple and i.
the moments we do have are amazing.
genuinely.
three people who truly enjoy each others' company,
laughing and cooking and talking about life and love and leisure together-
we're lucky.
i am especially so.
on the real,
they've got acres of people who care about them.
a full family with a steppin'-correct father and brothers and that,
plus both, or rather, all three sides of the familial treebranches 
reaching out to give a whole lot of shts about them...
......and i've just got them.
it makes sense-
they're terrific, and they're tremendously likable.
so everybody should find something to enjoy about these two.
i'm just glad they still choose to span time in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
that's the best part.
they want to be here;
and for however long we get to do our thing,
we make sure it's a good time.
family togetherness is my favorite part;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, November 25

THANKS!!

neighbors,
i had two platefuls of amazingness yesterday.
yuuup.
too much is the right amount,
and all of it was too diverse and abundant to fit on one big dinnery disc.
so i doubled down.
i mean,
 why wouldn't we do that?
if one thanksgiving gratitude platter is good,
then two must be even MORE expert.
word up.
wanna see how we started?
ok.
check the thank-you-and-you-and-YOU-type teleport:
BOOOOOOOOM!!!!
we got very bust in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
yep.
a whole dang day of preppin', and choppin', and stuffin', and stirrin',
and generally getting completely rad with all the best bits and pieces of
a truly epic edible endeavor.
yes.
maple and harvest and crabtree and i,
a quartet of quality ingredients, in a recipe for molto indulgent
meal of gratitude and generosity, memory and spirit,
and ultimately involved, competent, capable, conscientious active participation.
we do that.
we live it, we love it, and we ate every last scrap.
actually, i may have made more food than a large family could consume,
despite there only being three people, including my big-but-still-small ones.
uh-huh.
let's talk about that full plate of power, though, guys-
and we'll begin with that stuffed acorn squash!!!!
halved, gutted, and steamed upside down in the oven for 30, at 375F,
flipped, and filled with a celery, sweet onion,
pumpkin seed, carrot, garlic, wild rice,
and shredded collard green stuffing!
sage, thyme, parsley, GPOP, and a splash of tamari completed the look.
nice?
SO nice.
...word.
covered and baked again, for another 'nother thirty,
and you've got squash that melts around your fork,
and stuffing that satisfies the textures of a thousand cravings.
damn. i was freaking out over it.
actually, i still am.
*
garlic mashed potatoes?
F* yeah.
we get into a big ol' blend of red skinned and chef's white goodness,
with vampire-repelling levels of alium, and half a sweet onion boild dow alongside 'em.
butterish, milkish, GPOP, and olive oil had these mutha-effers
somehow both smooth and a little lumpy,
so you know that we did it right, y'all.
*
garlic'd kale?
c'mon.
what do you think we're doing over here?
messing around?
no way.
sauteed garlic, just barely beginning to brown,
plus all that rough torn kale,
broth-braised to a wilty dark green heap of hottness,
in olive oil, for that italiano nod from the old country
to the whitest green leafyveg you know.
yummy.
*
homestyle new england maple cornbread!!!!!!!
c'mon, man.
we know what;s up.
dense, spongy, moist slightly-gritty good-for-you sweet triangular triumph.
the cornbread game over here is hella tight,
and while we take it easy on some things,
the corn styles and the bread styles are never allowed to falter.
and that's no joke.
there's a recipe for it in the king arthur flour cookbook,
and i recommend you take it,
veganize it, and eat some, immediately.
you will regret not one motion in that effort, i promise.
-
buddy,
how dope is that salad?
well, i ate about a pound of it,
and i wasn't about to waste prime gravy space on anything unworthy.
so,
it's got frisee, and red cabbage, and scallions, and cilantro-
plus, there's see-through-thin cucumber slices,
quartered orange and red grape tomatoes,
and crispy onion flecks, with buttery pumpkin seed sprankles.
if there's gotta be salad, then it's gotta be expert, am i right?
almost always, actually, yet i keep hoping that i won't be.
why?
because i'm a proof-positive pessimist, and that's a tough way to go.
***********
y'know what can temporarily assuage even the saltiest of sourpusses, though?
this:
WOOOOOO!!!!
butternut squash, cubed up, and tossed with olive oil,
black pepper, REAL maple syrup,
dried cranberries, halved pecans,
and a dusting of cinnamon, with the barest hint of nutmeg.
guys, the food is simple, there's just so much cutting and baking involved.
time consuming, in direct opposing proportion to food-consuming.
i think we terrorized two huge platefuls in under twenty minutes?
gross, but impressive, and also expert.
we don't waste time, we invest it,.
that's the smart money move to make.
***********
it snowed a bit.
that's pretty and all,
but i raked a grand total of about 0 leaves before it did.
y'know what that means?
that means i just guaranteed that springtime will be very ugly,
and labor intensive,
and somehow, i'll need to find time where the isn't any,
much like the events that led to not raking i the first place.
whilst giving thanks for the good fortune i have,
all while remaining well aware of the distance between relative success
and practical application of effort-
(i.e. i have what i have, but it's only half as good as what i would like)
i also took a minute to reflect of the year.
guys,
did ANYBODY like 2016?
i feel like no good things came of it,
and i find myself in the same position i was in nearly five years ago.
huh?
yeah.
like, somehow,
i lost a batch of years somewhere between work and sleep.
jeez.
i've got these kids here.
that's good.
i've got work to do at the studio. that's bittersweet, to say the least.
i've got my dog, and he's undeterred by any and all bad events in his life.
his worldview is such that he's actually THRILLED to eat sh!t.
literally.
he seeks it out.
so,
here i am.
grateful that i can keep getting my metaphorical A* kicked right off of my body.
it's happening.
daily.
prometheus had his regenerating liver, i guess.
in the modern age, with fire already being well-understood,
i s'pose that a regrowing butt,
cheekily ready to be kicked off, again and again and again,
is just about the best i could've hoped for,
given my much more meager contributions to the world.
this is What Is,
and i'm doing what i can to ensure that the time spanned with my peoples
is as good as can be, come what may as soon as they leave.
...and they all leave.
on that, i rest my reputation;
never quiet, never soft.....

THANKS AGAIN!!

damn, dudes,
i made allllll the good stuff,
from scratch, naturally,
and i hung tough, saw it through, started early, stayed late,
and generally performed like a champ.
the only real detriment of the day?
ampy-d's sh!tty replacement dog biting crabtree in the head,
causing a pretty messy, bloody puncture,
within the first (and last) five minutes of their arrival (departure)?
what?
yes,
i invited amber to have vegan food with us.
yeah. that one.
new readers may not know about her,
but a quick and easy synopsis of our relationship is:
after three predictable years as the set-up,
it turned out she is actually really good at surprises.
but,
i mean, c'mon.
it's thanksgiving, man.
nobody should have to nothin' but eat simple side dishes
because they're an expert vegan and not a dead-body devourer.
right?
no?
oh.
well, at any rate, the universe is cruel, neighbors,
and doesn't care for my desire for familiar familial feelings.
those very same sentiments lured and lulled my better judgement astray again,
allowing for another attempt at doo-doo buttery do-over doings-
but,
this time,
the instant-karma correction was loud, fresh, hard, and fast, for sure.
oh,
it's fine, kinda.
crabby'll live, anyway,
with one more scar, and not one bit of a dampened spirit.
and that other one, the used-and-budget dog?
well,
he clearly F*ing sucks,
and not one positive thought is headed his way from up here.
also,
my decision-making might be that dog's cousin or something;
because it too clearly F*ing sucks.
kindness, nearly always,
is displayed in the sincere hope of productive human interactive kinship
and togetherness...
instead,
there was a whirlwind of one-sided chaos,
and a LOT of strong language centered on long-past grudges and grievances.
i won't be doing any of that again.
HARD STYLES ARE THE ONLY STYLES I REP, SON.
***********
...moving on,
i made enough food for fifty people,
but it was just myself and my children at the big kid's table
after the blitzkrieg brindle canine crack-up...
the thing is-
WE BROUGHT THE F*ING NOISE, MY DUDES!!!
check the second-piled-high-plateful-of-pure-power-type teleport:
holy sh!t!!
now that's what being a shark-gluttonous expert looks like, buddy.
after years and years of making cornbread dressing that nobody ate but me,
i got smart this year,
and used the leftover ends of a couple of sourdough loaves instead.
oatmeal and spelt splits for maxxximum taste and texture.
dudes!
the result was a 11/10 award-winner:
look at that jaun!
c'mon!
everybody loved it.
sure,
i had my homemade elite sausages in there,
which certainly activated exxxtra goodness.
and leeks and carrots and celery and garlic,
with broth drizzled over all of that, before covering it and ovening it for 30.
but, still,
it was SO much doper due to the great bread bits,
and we all agreed this is the new hottness from now on.
nice.
mashed sweets?
yup.
with tempeh bacon, and caramelized shallots, and a lot of brown sugar!!!
mmmmmm. check it pregame-style:
yeah!!
we get it poppin' over here,
because we genuinely appreciate the overwhelming abundance
and powerful plentitude of plant-based big action
that we're all fortunate enough to enjoy in heroic quantities
...and there were soy-glazed brussels, of course.
harvest always insists on exxtra food at the last minute,
and me being an enthusiastic encourager of the house rules, usually complies.
cranberry sauce?
OBVI!
no, i don't use the poor-person jelly tube.
 that's not how i work my scene, bro.
i go whole freshie-fresh berries,
cider-simmered & vanilla-kissed.
brown sugar and maple syrup sweetened,
with a smooch of lemon to help 'em along.
no. really, look:
uh-huh.
expert.
1 pkg. berries
1 cup cider
1 T vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 T lemon
1/4 cup syrup
that's it. cooked until the berries burst, and the combined pectin
of the juice and the pulp make a perfect compote.
get after it, it's good for you.
*
that roast, tho!!!
dudes, i made a red lentil-laced, tofu and seitan roast,
on the fly,
with a little sauteed onion and garlic,
simple poultry spices,
and wild-rice and corn stuffing inside.
that's real.
take a peek:
i'll have to do a separate post about this barbarian baby b!tch for certain.
it's SO dope.
suffice to say, we'll be having it again and again.
......
and those rainbow roasted root veggies?
butterish-patted, s&p'd and hit with an ample activation of GPOP,
they always please the crowd:
rainbow mini carrots;
red, blue, white, and yellow baby potatoes;
sweet potato;
purple and green  brussies;
parsnips;
red pearl onions.
perfect.
covered and baked alongside everything else in my overffull oven,
and covered in gravy, afterwards.
thanksgiving is all about gravy, baby.
believe it.
*
are those sesame oil brushed, sesame seed sprankled jester squash rings?
you get they are.
easiest thing i made all day.
soy sauce dripped into sesame oil,
with seeds, on sliced sqaush rings with the mushy middles removed,
open-face baked in that same oven.
nicey-nice, and doubly delicious.
word up.
***********
i really went all out.
cooking and baking all dang day,
making all the tasty bits,
and all the sweet treats,
with my kids riding shotgun alongside me, all day long,
as the kitchen hummed and buzzed with a life of it's own.
how could i be any luckier?
only in about a billion different ways.
ha.
objectivism prohibits the faking of reality in any manner whatsoever,
and it literally all is exactly what it is-
however,
two full plates of all the best food,
with my two favorite people,
and my bloody battle-beast is more than i deserve,
so i'll consider the day a win, regardless.
heck,
even crabtree had a super-'sgusting bone for the holiday.
on the really real,
rules is rules,
and everybody gets a treat.
that's how we do it.
thanks for reading;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, November 24

GRATITUDE

i'm thankful for all i have,
even if i almost never enjoy any of it.
that's the blessing and the curse of warrior poetry:
enough is never enough,
and seeming satisfied is too damned close to cultivating contentment,
which in turn breeds uncomplimentary complacency.
no way.
instead,
i appreciate the efforts i'm able to continuously make-
yeah.
that's the thing of it, neighbors....
i'm grateful for the time i have been given-
that's time to work hard,
and then, work even harder,
while enduring the ordure and offal of an awful set of circumstances,
in order to improve upon,
and ultimately evolve beyond
the hard styles and hindrances of limitless ambition
with limited success....
holy sh!t.
that's almost depressing,
except,
considering how much i labor at not letting the lack of outstanding results
overwhelm an outstanding effort every day,
which, all things considered is either crazily optimistic about a better tomorrow,
or optimistically crazy regarding delusions of potential improvement.
yikes!
(either one is okay with me,)
-
moreover,
i genuinely invest my time in the (very few) people
who want to be included in the frantic fraught ferocious Folk Life
i'm carving out for myself in this woodsly goodness.
and two of those virtuous valkyries are here right now.
yup.
harvest and maple and i are all together,
and that's the best part of any day, really.
on the real-
thanksgiving begins with thanks,
and is immediately followed by giving.
i mean, c'mon, man-
gratitude and generosity
are two of the primary components of my whole world view.
and these kids?
they're the best part of every holiday, every time.
if ever i needed another reason to do MORE,
(which i never have, to be honest,
rules is rules, and that's reason enough)
instilling the level-eleven intensity of my universal philosophy
to their easier-going kind hearts and joyful spirits would be it.
uh-huh.
check 'em out:
word.
we've been ruining pictures together for sixteen years in a row.
and we're not about to stop now.
no way.
in fact,
we're going to do it MORE.
jeez. are you picking up on what's happening here?
yeah.
too much is the right amount,
and we sure as sh!t aren't gonna settle for anything less.
-
i'm grateful that i have a job that affords me the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
as well as every single social interaction in between dog walks.
i'm grateful for the dog i'm walking,
as crabtree is truly my only remaining up-here friend,
even if that is only because he has no choice.
i'm grateful for the skills i've developed over these long cold lonely years-
plenty of people work way harder, for way longer,
to still somehow suck a lot at just one thing they've dedicated their attention to;
whereas i've truly been gifted with a kaleidoscopic breadth of interests,
and the wherewithal to nurture them.
that's huge.
i'm grateful fot the time, and for the space,
than i span with the ones who matter most.
the truth is,
it's all really happening, good and bad, easy and tough,
and it's all worth every elation and devastation.
that's the whole point.
THIS is What Is:
and that's all there really ever has been;
there's a secret universal plan in place, playing out in piecemeal portions,
unfolding along the creases and seams of seemingly random circumstances.
it's not predestiny so much as predisposition.
free will, and luck,
are pushing and pulling on opposing ends of that infinite expanse.
we're saying thanks for all of that,
and now we're getting right back to work;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, November 23

KEEP WARM.

y'better stick to these ribs.
^^^
that's what i told my dinner last night,
as the whipping whirling wild wind outside
blustered and blew it's way into my drafty old haunted house.
damn, but was i ever as cold as witch boobs yesterday...
and that's colder than cold, neighbors,
the only solution was to stock up on my starches and fats,
and hope that the heavyweight wonders in my bellyhole
could withstand the tree-felling frostbiting winds of war and change
that blew in a lot of very bad-to-the-bone-breaking marrow-chilling
westerly woe to this woodlsy goodness.
yikes.
good news, though, dudes-
my dinner kept me comfy, and warm,
and the kitchen benefited from a 460F degree oven's attentions, too.
mmmmmmmm.
if you don't get down with english-ish food?
well,
on the whole, that's actually very undertsandable-
beige boiled blops and mushy everything else is not exactly haute cuisine-
however,
pot pie is a big boomin' blast of burly british achievement,
and i for one love the sh!t outta that sh!t.
ha.
here's the thing, though-
i had some sourdough semolina jauns at the end of their realistic usefulness,
and i can't disrespect the pizza game lest i offend the watchful
(and vengeful)
ghosts of pizza past present and future-
so i had to get into some new territory,
and do a thin-crust sourdough deep-dish open-top potful of power and glory.
yup.
i'm about that life, without any hesitation.
check it out, via the teleport:
WORD.
pot pie comfort,
thanksgiving pizza,
and a F*ing ton of homemade gravy.
get on my level, here, kids.
this is some serious hottness for the hungry homeboys and girls of planet earth.
real talk.
i got those roasted potatoes,
two of 'em, cubed up pretty small,
both of which cooked in olive oil and GPOP while the oven preheated.
uh-huh.
that's smart usage of time and heat and energy.
i browned half a big ol' white onion,
and half a fat carrot sliced up,
and a cup and half of cauliflower-
they were all hanging out in butterish, with GPOP,
and sage and thyme and parsley in there,
and a splash of white wine vinegar,
and a whole mess of black pepper,
and a little bit of nootch.
i pressed two sourdough servings into one big one,
and let it re-rise in a buttered springform,
where i kept creepin' it up the edges,
making it deeper, and doper, every ten minutes or so.
on the bottom, i dropped in some shredded frisee,
and then added a whole mess of goodness.
herb-crsuted savory tofu and homemade vegan sausage is what i'm talkin' 'bout.
yeah!
half a block of 'fu. cubed,
and one link of that sausage, sliced and quartered into skinny wedges,
all browned in herbs- i used poultry-style jauns,
but, you do you, though buddy.
guys!
i put peas and corn in there, too.
uh-huh.
i mean, why not?
MORE flavor, MORE texture, MORE everything.
why?
oh, c'mon.
you know why-
too much is the right amount.
and if i'm already gonna eat  five pounds of carbohydrates,
i may as well add some rough-hewn fiber to the mix, too.
oooooooof.
-
do you like gravy?
of course you do.
i keep the fatty-boombattie gravy globs fairly straightforward.
i mean,
some things speak volumes in four words.
(not me, clearly)
y'gotta make a lot,
because it's an exxxtra-necessary component of a good pot pie.
rules is rules, man.
i make a roux first.
that's usually a 1:1 butter-flour blend.
i start there,
and add more flour, for especially thick vegan hottness.
mmhmm.
hot melty butts, and a bunch of flour, heated until golden,
to which i add another 'nother punch of flour,
a cup or two of broth,
Garlic Powder and Onion Powder,
nootch(ritional yeast),
a splash of soy sauce,
and herbs, if i'm feeling crazy, but which i eschewed this time around,
as the pie was already taking care of that for me.
i poured half a cup of gravy all over all the filling once it was settled into the dough,
and then i baked it for 20 minutes.
it came out amazing.
i doused it in more gravy,
and i ate the whole mother-F*ing thing.
yup.
i doo-do that freaky sh!t.
***********
today is the day.
after another excoriating, excruciating journey with crabtree,
i'll be jumping in the car (my g-dang rental, STILL)
and heading southwards, to the asscrack of 'chusets,
to swap dollars for daughters,
and get these kids back here to the woodsly goodness,
for a feast and a long weekend worth driving all damned day for.
we're gonna make it good.
we're gonna get it together.
we're gonna have a heck of a time.
that's what we do.
there's no spare minutes for weak sauce or watery diaperbabyishness.
there is only expert family togetherness,
and that is all we need for now;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, November 22

CHOCOLATE PRETZEL COOKIES!!

oats are probably my favorite grain.
that's real.
yes, i appreciate wheat,
and i surely love bread, and pasta, and pizza, 
and seitan, and thick-A* gravies,
and all the cakes and pies that rely on wheat for substance.
however,
i consider wheat, and it's myriad berries-
hard, soft, summer, and winter-
to be it's own thing.
i mean,
i use twenty to thirty pounds of it a month,
as the base-foundation bottom-b!tch basement-level layer of all things baked.
but,
be that as it may,
it's those oats that get me going, guys.
uh-huh.
if i gotta get a second groaty berry-seed involved,
it's probably gonna be those oats more often than everything else.
i'm just sayin'-
they're too damned good!
i made cookies.
oatmeal cookies.
that' what that lead-in was all about.
a heavy handed application of fast and slow oats,
as well as a secret weapon i found in my travels through the teej, neighbors.
check the teleport:
c'mon, man-
that's some cutesy kyooootness, right?
yeah.
i'm into that.
oatmeal cookies with chocolate covered pretzel bits are the business!
dark chocolate dipped salty pretzel sticklettes??
yum.
that's what i wanted, and i'm glad that's what i got.
the standard template exists here,
with very little variance,
yet it's still totally expert.
do it like this-
***********
1 stick + 2 T butts
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
^creamed^
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 T maple syrup
^whisked all together^
2 cups a.p. flour
1 cup fast-actin' oats
1/2 cup thick old oats
2 tsp bakey kapowder
8 oz chocolate covered salty sticks of super-hottness
^that's the basis for your cookies, man^
i got a couple more than two dozen out of the dough,
and as usual, i baked 'em at 375F for 13 minutes in a row.
easy. easy. easy.
powdered sugar and cocoa, 2:1, with a 1/2 tsp vanilla,
and soymilk in drops until it was thick as heck, 
but still drizzlifiably wet,
striped across the surfaces, too it up a level, for sure.
and naturally, i'm aware of the rules around here,
so also activated those seasonally-specific sprankles,
to make sure you know i'm in the know about NOvember.
mmmhmmm
cookies are good,
and pretzels are good,
and chocolate is really good.
that's how it is-
besides,
i doo-doo that oaten sh!t all the time,
so, with exxxtras, it's even better than my usual,
which i'm happy to report, is miles above average anyway.
wordimus prime.
***********
it's the last day of tattshack attackin' 
before i get myself two whole days 'off' in a row.
i'll be cookin' and cleanin' and entertainin',
not to mention drivin' and doing all the other OTHER stuff i already always do-
so,
really, 
i'll just be working harder than usual, 
and for free...
it's cool.
y'can't put a pricetag on family togetherness, anyway.
i'll have my offspring here, and we'll be prepping and reppin' on hard styles,
long nights,
cold weather,
great food, 
big laughs,
and a few days of forgetting about everything else.
i'm ready.
i just have to endure a dreadfully long day of doing a ton 
of all that everything else first.
it's all really happening,
the kids, the food, the road, the dog, the work, 
the woe, the woodsly F*ing goodness,
one hundred percent unfolding at a pace that can't be slowed or sped up.
this is all there is,
and i hope that sometime soon it somehow starts to seem like enough;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, November 21

DUMPING

neighbors,
i made a batch of from-scratch pouches of pure awesome yesterday.
uh-huh.
i needed it.
food fixes what's wrong,
when you're defeated and depleted and in need of some nourishing nutrients.
i was, and i was, and i was,
so i made it work, for myself, all by myself.
word up.
i'm sayin',
the workday tattooing was tough,
the wet rainy weather was rough,
the morning came too soon,
and the nighttime was dark early,
and damnably doo-doo buttery for far too long.
what's the solution?
obviously,
it's dumps on your face.
duh.
a little sweet and sour and spicy sunday fun picked me right on up.
guys,
check the dumplestiltskin-type teleport:

WU-TANG!!
i'm not afraid to eat late,.
not now that these enormous daylight-simulating superbulbs are blazing bright
across the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress kitchen photolaboratory.
mmmmhmmmmm.
but,
those spicy noods, dudes.
fat udons, in a brothy batch of rice wine vinegar, mae-ploy sauce, soy, and sesame oil,
tossed with red chilis and orange and yellow sweet peppers,
plus some garlic and onion?
expert by itself, for sure-
but, i didn't stop there.
i couldn't.
rules is rules.
i also had purple cabbage shreds,
fried garlic slabs,
and cayenne-agave-gazed tofu
^pan-fried,
soy-splashed, and then agave-drizzled with cayenne to activate the hottness!!
with thinny-thin-thin cucumbers to cool it off,
sesame-seeded purple brussies and broccolini to heat it back up again,
and then scallion and cilantro sprankles to make it exxxtra-sexy.
heck yes!
all of that was an epic endeavor to eat more than i should,
but,
too much is the right amount,
and i'm not scared to get gross on a plate of heroic shark-gluttony-
so i also made those dumps, and i am super glad i did.
real talk.
dump dough goes a little like this:
***********
1/2 cup a.p. flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp xantham gum
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup warm water
that's all.
***********
you may need to add more water or flour,
but you should have yourself a stickyish dough pretty readily.
flour the F* out of a falt surface, roll that sh!t out,
and cut up some 3" circles like you really mean it.
i had eleven, all told, from this batch of from-scratch big action.
i also had some expert filling on the menu, too.
minced onion, and tiny slivers of exxxtra0super-frim tofu,
sauteed in toasted sesame oil,
with baby spinach and collard greens, chiffonaded into ribbons.
with GPOP, a splash of soy, fresh crushed garlic and scallions,
and sesame seeds to put some true grit in with the roughage.
damn.
that's the stuff.
stuffed, sealed, and seared in a very hot pan for a few minutes,
in a sesame-vegetable oil blend,
before being steamed to perfection by 4 tablespoons of hot water,
poured in and covered, until the liquid disappeared.
i like to flip 'em at this point, and let every side get a little browned.
that's just me,
bu then again,
i'm sort of a dumpling guru, so maybe take my suggestion if you're so inclined.
you won't be disappointed.
DUMPS ARE DOPE.
that's no joke.
the sauce?
sriracha, soy, sesame oil, a pinch of sugar, GPOP,
a drop of liquid smoke, and a few seeds to sprank it up.
that's the stuff.
-
i like a huge plateful.
i do.
i mean, it's all only veggies and grains,
so i always feel pretty guiltless about really tearing into it.
i just want a lot of everything.
that's my move.
i make a ton because i want a ton,
and since it's just me,
it's all for me.
....that sort of works out.
***********
with thanksgiving creeping right up,
i'm not sure when i'll have a free second to really do much
besides cook for the next few days.
well,
that and drive back and forth a whole bunch.
i do what i need to, because family togetherness with my kids
is a welcome respite from the rough routine of every other flipping day.
we all need it, and we're about to get it.
i'm most thankful for that, above everything else.
this time we have been given comes at a cost,
but it's one i'll gladly pay, every day,
for the minutes we make matter more as a team;
never quiet, never soft.....

GALETTE IT TOGETHER

dudes,
sometimes i make something so good,i almost don't even wanna share it-
except,
my midsection doesn't need any outward sideways expansion,
and my willpower is limited to accessibility-
huh?
oh.
if there are tasty treats just hanging out on, sittin' all sorts of pretty
on the countertops of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress?
i'm not sure there's a whole lot of resistance that i'm gonna demonstrate.
i have means, motive, and opportunity,
and that's a recipe for shark-gluttonous overindulgence.
i can't afford to blarp out, man.
there're plenty of things i can't change, that i'll have to endure, like it or not-
and then there are those things i can certainly prevent.
i'm just sayin',
being old, busted, broke, broken, and blarpity?
i like alliteration as much, or more, than the next guy,
but blarps just aren't ever invited to any makeout parties,
and that's one thing i can somewhat structure circumstances
around my stormswept savage appetites,
to keep from becoming a great big fat person......
soooooo,
even though i'd rather keep 'em all to myself,
i'm still gonna distribute the new hottness out amongst the marginally worthy
part-time partial-appreciators and semi-passive participants
of woodsly goodsly workweek interaction out in the world.
that said-
i still ate a fresh five feast of the best damned galettes i've baked so far.
ummmmmm,
too much is the right amount?
yeah!
no doubt.
check the black-currant-currency-type teleport:

C'MON!
neighbors,
these are what you want in your face.
and that's no joke.
what's the secret?
there's no secret!
you just make what you wish you were eating,
based on what you have on hand.
i still had a big bag of local apples,
(which i've been sharing with crabtree, who absolutely loves them)
and i found some french black currant jammie-jam at the teej,
and forces collided, and fresh-to-death flavor was established.
want some of your own?
then do this-
**********
make a batch of custom sexy pastry dough.
here's the recipe:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
a T of sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick plus 3-4T butts
3-4T creamchee',
and just enough soymilk to soften and stick it.
^food process the fat and the flour,
and then pulse it enough to barely keep it together once you add that 'milk.
wrap it in plastic, puch it into a circle, and refrigerate it for at least an hour.
that's right, at least an hour, more is much better.
get that sorted,
and then,
when it's time to really rock the party?
first,
preheat that oven to 415F.
roll roll roll your dough out on a floured surface,
until you've got it pie-crust-thin. what's that?
1/8"?
i dunno.
roll it until it looks right, man.
get whatever circle template you wanna use ready,
and cut 'em out, laying each on parchment on a cookie sheet.
i got ten out of this last batch.
that black currant jam is the JAM.
ha.
it's good, and it's sweet, and it's very juicy.
i put about a tablespoon in the center of each circle,
sliced some skin-still-on smaller apples,
and placed them in a square on top.
that's four sides, and one on the center.
on top of that?
vanilla bean powder, shaken in with light brown sugar.
from there,
it was just a matter of crimping the sides in overlapping flaps,
cutting out some cute stars with my new die-cutter,
and baking them for 20 minutes.
dudes!
the jam melted in between all the cracks and crevices,
which was expert.
the brown sugar glazed everything else through the goodly application
of steam rising up from the apples
and those crusts?
well,
that pastry is the big business barbarian best-case scenario anyway,
so it was dope,
but that was also to be expected.
neighbors,
they were golden, they were pretty, they smelled amazing,
but,
i couldn't just leave 'em alone.
no way.
rules is rules.
so i hit each one with a little of the remaining cinnamon-cider creamchee' frosting,
and kapowdered them with a little confection affection,
for an affectation of expertism that went off the hinges,
off the rails, and off the charts,
all the way to eleven.
yuuuuuup.
......and then i ate half of them pretty quickly.
ooooof.
worth it?
absolutely.
the dog and i burned off most of that on our rainy hike through the neighborhood.
guys,
fun little tidbit-
even in the cold november rain,
i still walk my dog.
uh-huh.
y'know what everyone else does around here?
especially the second-home out-of-towners?
they just let their dog out.
now,
can you guess what that does to crabtree and i,
as we pass just about every fifth house or so?
it puts us on a dog-bodyslamming wet-wiener-wiping
jumping-mudpuddle butthole-sniffing brouhaha of rough-housing ragnarok,
tugging at me tether, tripping my toes, nipping at my hands and face,
and generally infuriating me to unheard-of levels
of surprisingly un-vegan animal assault.
i will choke both dogs to death, as my nose runs, and my toes numb,
and neither listens, while you enjoy your breakfast in your dry warm house,
unaware that your F*ing A*-hole dog is participating in an excruciating ordeal
wherein my responsible dog-ownership is pitted
against my savage stormswept raging berserker battle-beastly bad attitude towards
all forms of inclement weather,
multiplied by my general, but effusive dislike for other peoples' pets.
.
     dear the whole neighborhood,
               
                sorry i karate'd every one of your dogs in the F*ing face yesterday.
                but,
                actually, for the sake of true storytelling,
                i'm 0% sorry in real life.
                and if you'd bothered to come collect your dog,
                i'd probably have karate'd you, too.

                                                                       regards,
                                                                          your pal,
                                                                               xoxo,
                                                                                     albie.
.
yeah.
not dope.
but,
today is a whole new day,
and if nothing else,
at least it isn't raining.
i'll take a win where i  can find one, man;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, November 20

FLAT EARTH

flatbread.
flatbread.
FLATBREAD!
mmmmmmm.
y'know?
yeah.
i mean, like,
it's pizza, basically,
but it's different.
and i like different, dudes.
for real.
now,
when it comes time to decide if i'm gonna really go for it,
and do some wizardly warrior poetic whippin' up of dinner,
or,
just beat up a big bowlful of beige something instead,
the main factor in my decision is:
will it pizza?
...and when the answer is YES?
i doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
rules is rules,
and if the world wills pizza into creation,
i acquiesce to the world.
guys!
i made myself a quartet of smallish circles,
out of my semi-semolina-sourdough dopeness,
and i have to say-
they were F*ing expert.
that's no joke.
hand-tossed thinny-thin-thin-crust jauns,
coated with sesame-seeded hummus,
and caramelized onions,
and tempeh bacon bits,
and fire-roasted tomato flakes, and molto molto black peps,
and a new thing in the world of Folk Life & Libertarian hottness-
sriracha pepper sprankles!
yup.
and that wasn't even all of it,
but it was the base foundation for some very manly mesomediterranean magic.
check the flattie-boom-battie-type teleport:

wooooooooooooooooo!!!!!
those little circles were very dope all on their own-
the crusts were super crisp,
but the centers were super soft,
as the hummus held it down, and fluffed it up,
alongside those epic flavors on the surface.
the thing is,
any old average biscuit-head would've be happy to have those just like that-
but we're well above average, aren't we?
c'mon.
don't be dumb, neighbors.
we want the big deluxxxe, we want the big action,
we want MORE.
i know.
so i added color and texture and flavor, in abundance,
straight to the top of each one.
yup.
too much is the right amount.
for realsies.
so i set myself up with a litttle somethin' extra.
uh-huh.
i needed that freshie-fresh, son!
a salad of purple cabbage, arugula, english cucumber,
red sweet pepper rings, cilantro, scallion,
and orange grape tomatoes!
guys,
i had a rainbow of awesome tossed over each and every disc of deliciousness.
um, yeah.
i did that.
i tuned up all four in record time, too.
shark-gluttony is a cornerstone of the by-laws
for living in this vaunted victual valhalla.
no foolin'.
***********
*spoiler alert*
the food portion of today's communication is over.
the rest will be a pessimistic assessment of everything else.
you've been made aware, so my conscience is clear.
...
everyday is the same day.
black to gray to daylight,
i'm up, wakening by the whines of my F*ing dog.
i'm doing chores,
i'm baking, or making, and writing ;
i'm ignoring housework;
i'm walking this F*ing dog for actual literal temporally-measured hours;
and after a shower to wash the walk right off?
there's the daily routine of making the rounds en route to work....
and then,
THAT 25% of every day is an absolute horror of under-rewarding human interaction.
...and before i know it, but after a interminable tenure in the terrordome,
i'm headed home in the deep black of nighttime,
only it's still only early evening,
to make dinner for me and this F*ing dog,
and keep him occupied as he undermines and interferes with any and all activities
that might've seemed interesting if only he wasn't here to ruin them.
fall asleep on my feet, every night?
ok.
i'll do that.
wake up too dang early early every morning?
guaranteed.
invest all of my time in work of one form or another,
and still feel like living is elusive in the same way that labor is pervasive?
you betcha.
my only company is this dog,
who may or may not want me to have a stroke.
honestly, i can't tell.
he is the neediest little A*-hole i've ever known,
and although i HATE that,
he's my responsibility,
so i've gotta see it through, at the apparent expense of all other interests.
i don't know how other people do it.
maybe their time-management is far superior.
maybe their pets are less co-dependent .
maybe they have a partner who helps out.
maybe they want less,
or do more,
or just don't care where they end up at the end of the day.
all i know is that  i can make one hell of a dinner,
so i do that, and hope the rest of it all heals on it's own.
the thing is-
time never heals mortal wounds.
you just stay dead for longer and longer as the clock ticks,
and the pages turn,
and days turn to weeks turn to months turn to years.
and there is nothing much more...
my career,
my romantic entanglements,
my (anti)social life,
my art-making,
my light before-bed reading-
that's all been ceased,
and has all possibly become deceased-
i actually cannot for the life of me be sure of it,
although time will tell, of course.
i'm just sayin'-
winter puts a lot of things to sleep,
but,
eventually they wake up.
so, i s'pose whatever stays down underground when spring gets here
will get a eulogy and a cairn,
and i'll have to stop caring about resuscitation,
and maybe formulate some new plan for incvesting my time,
one with less and less and less in it.
all work and no play is already in play,
so i wonder what else i can afford to lose,
just so i can afford to stay.
it's all really happening.
i guess that's something, at least;
never quiet, never soft.....